Proposal calls for earlier sex education

Ke Jiayun
Political adviser says that the increase in instances of sexual abuse, with victims getting younger, had something to do with a lack of sex education classes at home and in school.
Ke Jiayun

Young children should have sex education classes as well as being taught how to prevent sexual assaults, local CPPCC member Jiang Hao said on Thursday.

Instances of sexual abuse of children were becoming more frequent and victims were getting younger, according to his proposal.

Jiang said the increase in cases has something to do with the lack of sex education at home and school.

He said the advance of sex education was closely related to a country's social development.

There’s no separate national policy or standards for sex education. It comes under health education at primary and middle schools.

Jiang said the system had problems that there are still some problems with the city's sex education system that need to be improved.

Based on a guideline for elementary and secondary schools' health education, children will receive sexual assault prevention education for the first time at age 12 to 14. Jiang thinks that’s too late.

He suggests such education be given to children at younger age with the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a reference. This sets the age of receiving sexual assault prevention education at 5 to 8.

Current sex education is mainly about sanitation and health. But children should know more about relationships between people such as how to recognize healthy relationships, including romantic ones, to built a close affinity with others, different ways to express love and the boundaries of a relationship with people of the opposite or same sex.

Also, current sex education is mainly based on school classes and family education is neglected. Family education about sex also plays an important role in sexual assault prevention, Jiang said.

Education authorities should also attach emphasis to family sex education with guidance and training given to parents.

Jiang is urging the city to set special plans for sex education and build a system with the participation of family, school and society.

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